The CAIA Course for the Chartered Financial Analyst
The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) course, including the Professional Standards and Ethics module, is aimed at those professional candidates who need to develop the skills required to manage an institutional portfolio. Professional investment analyst jobs include the roles of investment analyst and finance analyst.
This course, provided by the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, will demonstrate you are proficient in the area of alternative investment which includes:
• Hedge Funds
• Commodities and Managed Futures
• Private Equity
• Real Assets
• Credit Derivatives and Structured Products
• Professional Standards and Ethics
It will provide you with a specific knowledge in the area of alternative investment and will equip investment professionals with another qualification to add to their CV. CAIA qualified professionals will also gain an exemption from further exams within the PRIMA course and the UK Actuarial Professions course, STO module.
There is currently only one UK provider of this course which is Kaplan Financial in London. They offer various study options for the candidates. You can choose from the four weekdays course (£915), ten evening courses (£1,175) or a weekend revision module (£650).
Professional Standards and Ethics Module
This area of study will ensure that you can state the knowledge of standard one in professionalism. It will also cover:
• integrity of capital markets
• duties to clients
• duties to employers
• investment analysis
• recommendations and actions, and finally
• conflicts of interest
This CAIA Professional Standards and Ethics module forms part of level one of the syllabus, which is made up of seven topics regarding the foundations for alternative investment applications.
Details of the Syllabus
Candidates will cover a large number of key areas within the module including:
1. Standard one; with an emphasis of law knowledge, independence, objectivity, misrepresentation and misconduct.
2. The procedures used in compliance to knowledge of the law.
3. Interpretation of standard two; regarding material non-public data and market manipulation.
4. The procedures for compliance and material non-public data.
5. Interpretation of standard three; regarding loyalty, prudence and care, fair dealing, suitability, performance presentation and the preservation of confidentiality.
6. Interpretation of standard four; regarding loyalty, additional compensation arrangements, and the responsibility of supervisors.
7. Recognising procedures for compliance.
8. Interpretation of standard five; regarding matters of diligence and reasonable basis, communication with clients and prospective clients and record retention.
9. Interpretation of standard six; regarding disclosure of conflicts, priority of transactions and referral fees.
The syllabus weighting for the Professional Standards and Ethics module is 10 to 15 per cent of the CAIA course.
Exams for all subjects within level one are four hours long. This includes an optional 30 minute break. It is recommended that you dedicate at least 200 hours of study to level one. There are 200 computer based questions to answer.
These will be multiple choice questions and you will have to answer 70 per cent of them correctly in order to pass the course. You are urged to take a look at past papers of the exam in order to familiarise yourself with the format, layout and types of questions that may be asked. These can be found on the CAIA website and can be used very effectively as part of the revision process.
Exams are available to take in March and September annually.